Prospects for Uzbek-German business cooperation discussed in Berlin
Tashkent, Uzbekistan (UzDaily.com) -- Embassy of Uzbekistan in Berlin together with the German bank Berliner Sparkasse at Landesbank Berlin AG held a round table on modern development of Uzbekistan, financial and economic reforms carried out in Uzbekistan, efforts of the Government of Uzbekistan to strengthen regional and international cooperation.
German entrepreneurs were also provided with information on the investment climate and conditions created in the country for foreign investors.
Representatives of business and financial circles of Germany who are interested in developing mutually beneficial cooperation with Uzbekistan attended the event.
Opening the event, Knut Richter, Director of the Department for International Financing of the Bank of Berliner Sparkasse at Landesbank Berlin AG, noted that there is a growing interest of representatives of the German business community to cooperate with Uzbekistan and, accordingly, appeals to the financial institution with a request to finance business agreements with Uzbek partners .
According to him, today a number of financial agreements with Uzbek financial institutions have been implemented, and also on 14 January 2019, a new basic loan agreement has been signed in the amount of 50 million euros. Richter also said that in order to further enhance bilateral Uzbek-German cooperation, the bank organizes various visits of representatives of German business circles to Uzbekistan.
In turn, the director of Berliner Sparkasse, Bernd Schmidt, in his speech with a multimedia presentation drew the attention of the audience to the large-scale reforms in Uzbekistan in all spheres of public life. Along with this, the German expert highly appreciated the foreign policy of the leadership of our country, the efforts of the Uzbek government to further strengthen regional cooperation, as well as measures for the peaceful settlement of the conflict in Afghanistan and ensuring security in the region.
The great interest among German entrepreneurs was caused by the information on measures to liberalize the economy, including the introduction of free conversion of the national currency and the removal of barriers to foreign trade and investment.
It was especially emphasized that the official visit of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev to Germany in January 2019 gave a new impetus to the further intensification of bilateral cooperation in all spheres.
The German expert said that at present more than 130 enterprises with the participation of investors from Germany, including 33 enterprises with 100% German capital, as well as representative offices of more than 30 firms and companies, operate in Uzbekistan. There are also good partnerships between the financial institutions of the two countries.
As a graphic example of mutually beneficial investment cooperation, the successful implementation of large investment projects with such world-known German concerns as MAN, Siemens, Thyssen Krupp, CLAAS, Lemken, Knauf, Papenburg, "Volkswagen" and others.
Thus, the German businessmen present at the event were also urged to more actively use the new opportunities offered by Uzbekistan for foreign investors.
Representatives of the German business community, praising the ongoing political and economic reforms and democratic reforms in Uzbekistan, noted that the liberalization of monetary and tax policies, the simplification of visa procedures, including the introduction of a visa-free regime for up to 30 days, also contribute to the creation of new prospects for successful business in the republic.
In the framework of the “round table”, some of its participants and organizers shared their opinions and assessments regarding the processes of political and economic development of our country.
Gunter Philippe, Managing Director of Pecon trade GmbH:
- We have been actively cooperating with Uzbekistan since 2004. In the same year, in conjunction with our Uzbek partners, we established Farm Glass JV for production of glassware. In 2005-2006, I was the general director of this joint venture. Initially, we were engaged in the production of glass bottles for wine, beer, as well as glass products for pharmaceutical products, which were mainly exported. To date, the glass industry of Uzbekistan has tripled, and today the country produces about 1.2 thousand tons of glass products. Domestic demand is growing.
Having carefully studied the situation in the republic, we came to the conclusion that all glass products, after a single use, are thrown into the garbage. Therefore, we now have a new idea to build a new glass processing plant in Uzbekistan, which will collect and process used glass and then provide it to local glass companies in Uzbekistan. This allows them to produce new, cost-effective glass and without extra energy.
In general, we are pleased with the results of cooperation with Uzbekistan and are pleased to implement new joint projects.
Jörg Eser, Managing Director of MCG Management Capital Group GmbH:
- One of the priority directions of our activity is the development and financing of investment projects for the introduction of renewable energy sources (RES). Due to lower prices for photovoltaic systems, many countries around the world now have the opportunity to implement industry-specific projects on a market basis without government subsidies. Given the huge potential of Uzbekistan in the field of renewable energy, I believe that this would be useful for your country.
I confess that I had not had any business contacts with Uzbekistan before. Today I am convinced that serious work is being carried out in your country to modernize and diversify the economy and attract foreign direct investment to its priority sectors. And the achievement of the goals outlined in the Strategy for Action will certainly contribute to ensuring socio-economic sustainability and the further development of small business and private entrepreneurship in Uzbekistan.
Bernd Schmidt, Director, Export Finance, Landesbank Berlin AG:
- Since 1994, Landesbank Berlin has a representative office in Uzbekistan. Since then, our cooperation with Uzbek banks has been developing very well. We have discovered Uzbekistan as a country with a good business climate. Now we want to convince our partners to take this step too, to develop business with Uzbekistan, to build business relations, and also to invest direct investments in the economy of the republic. It is for these purposes that today we organized today’s event for our partners who are interested in developing business cooperation with Uzbekistan.
I am confident that the efforts of Uzbekistan aimed at the democratic transformation of society and the achievement of sustainable economic development will be crowned with success.